Economics of Innovation and Learning

  • P. Cohendet
  • J.A. Héraud
  • E. Zuscovitch


The postulated availability of the information contained in the innovation ignores the very nature of technological progress. Innovation is basically a learning process. It is neither an exogenous promethean gift nor a multipurpose knowledge base that can be oriented according to relative price changes. This neo-classical view of the sixties accommodated well the models of homothetic growth. With the crisis of industrial restructuring and the emergence of new technologies that came later we were incited, if not obliged, to look closer at the inner characteristics of technology and they by no means matched such a view. Technological innovation is a process which occurs differently across industries and over time (Pavitt, 1984); it is at the same time localized, partly tacit and to a large extent history-rooted and with strong irreversibility character that makes it strongly path-dependent and of very limited transmissibility. Let’s say a few words about each of these characteristics.


Industrial Structure Innovative Activity Technological Learning Industrial Restructuring Private Incentive 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arrow, K. (1962) Economic welfare and the allocation of resources for invention, in Nelson (ed), The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity, Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Atkinson, A. and Stiglitz, J. (1969) A new view of technological change, Economic Journal 79, 573–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernstein, J.J. and Nadiri, Ishaq M. (1989) Research and development and intra-industry spillovers: an empirical application of dynamic quality, Review of Economic Studies 56, 249–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. BETA (Bureau d’Économie Théorique et Appliquée) (1988) Impact des dépenses de l’Agence Spatiale Européenne, rapport d’étude, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg 1.Google Scholar
  5. Callon, M. (1991) Réseaux technico-économiques et irréversibilité, in Boyer, R. et al. (eds), Figures de l’irréversibilité en Économie, Éditions EHESS.Google Scholar
  6. Cohendet, P., Ledoux, M.J., Zuscovitch, E. et al. (1987) Les Matériaux Nouveaux, Economica.Google Scholar
  7. Dasgupta, P. and Stiglitz, J. (1980) Industrial structure and the nature of innovative activity, Economic Journal 90.Google Scholar
  8. David, P. (1975) Technical Choice, Innovation and Economic Growth, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. David, P. (1986) New technology diffusion, public policy and international competitiveness, in Landau, R. and Rosenberg, N. (eds) The Positive Sum Strategy, National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  10. Foray, D. and Mowery, D. (1990) L’intégration de la R&D industrielle: nouvelles perspectives d’analyse, Revue Économique 3, 501–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Foray, D. and Lebas, C. (1986) Diffusion de l’innovation dans l’industrie et fonction de recherche technique: dichotomie ou intégration, Économie Appliquée 3.Google Scholar
  12. Freeman, C. and Soete, L. (1987) Technical Change and Full Employment, Blackwell.Google Scholar
  13. Gaffard, J.L. (1987) La création de technologie: stratégies d’entreprises et politique publique, LATAPSES CNRS, Université de Nice.Google Scholar
  14. Griliches, Z. (1979) Issues in assessing the contribution of research and development to productivity growth, Bell Journal of Economics 10, 92–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Griliches, Z. (1991) The Search for R&D Spillovers, Harvard University and NBER, September.Google Scholar
  16. Hagedoorn, J. and Schakenraad, J. (1990) Strategic partnering and technological cooperation, in Dankbar, B., Groenwegen, J. and Schenk, H. (eds), Perspectives in Industrial Organization, KLUWER Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  17. Jacquemin, A. (1987) Comportements collusifs et accords en Recherche-Développement, Revue d’Économie Politique 1, Vol.97.Google Scholar
  18. Jaffe, A. (1986) Technological opportunity and spillovers of R&D, American Economic Review 76, 994–1001.Google Scholar
  19. Klein, B. (1977) Dynamic Economics, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Levin, R., Klevorick, R., Nelson, R. and Winter, S. (1987) Appropriating the returns from individual research and development, Yale Papers on Economic Activity.Google Scholar
  21. Mohnen, P. (1989) New technologies and inter-industry spillovers, International Seminar on Science, Technology and Economic Growth, OCDE, DSTI.Google Scholar
  22. Mowery, D. (1988) Economic theory and government technology policy, Policy Studies 16.Google Scholar
  23. Nelson, R. (1959) The simple economics of basic scientific research, Journal of Political Economy 67.Google Scholar
  24. Nelson, R. and Winter, S. (1982) An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Pavitt, K. (1984) Sectoral patterns of technical change, Research Policy 13(6), 343–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rosenberg, N. (1976) Perspectives in Technology, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Rosenberg, N. (1982) Inside the Black Box, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Sahal, D. (1981) Patterns of Technological Innovations, Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
  29. Schumpeter, J. (1934) The Theory of Economic Development, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Shachar, Y. and Zuscovitch, E. (1990) Technological learning and efficient organization structure in High Tech. Environment, Communication of the Second International Conference on Management of Technology, Miami, February.Google Scholar
  31. Teece, D. (1980) Economics of scope and the scope of the enterprise, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization 1.Google Scholar
  32. Zuscovitch, E. (1986) The dynamics of technologies development, Research Policy 15, 175–86, December.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Cohendet
    • 1
  • J.A. Héraud
    • 1
  • E. Zuscovitch
    • 1
  1. 1.BETA - Bureau d’Économie Théorique et AppliquéeUniversité Louis PasteurStrasbourgFrance

Personalised recommendations